The Smartphone Universe: New Report


Normally I don't bother linking to the various reports that are produced each month or quarter dedicated to the mobile industry. For example, even though I like eMarketer, I only linked to them recently because they provide great charts for free - I'd never be able to afford any of their reports and I probably would never recommend any small company to buy them. They're probably very informative, but I'm just not sure they're worth the multi-thousand dollar price tag. The same goes for ARCchart's latest - I probably wouldn't be writing about it either, but that's *such* a great image above... :-)

Anyways, the ARCchart report is "An analysis of Symbian the company, the OS structure and the competitive challenges facing the platform within the nascent smartphone market," which could be very interesting. And they seem to have the right idea and be asking the right questions:

2004 will be a turning point year for the smartphone industry. This report provides coverage of the entire smartphone value chain, analysing the smartphone in the context of handset commoditisation and falling component costs; discussing the strategies of the OS providers and dissecting the web of political manoeuvrings driving this market segment; form the handset makers to the operating system providers and from the network operators to the application developers. Each of these players is able to derive value from this new handset universe.

Answers and opinions are provided on the following essential questions:

  • What constitutes a smartphone device?
  • What smartphone handsets are on the market or coming to market this year?
  • What are the components of a smartphone operating system?
  • Will smartphone OS pricing be immune to falling handset BoM?
  • What is the developer's role in the smartphone universe?
  • Will application engines like J2ME or AppForge usurp the importance of an OS?
  • What are the prospects for Windows Mobile and will Microsoft cut its license fee to zero?
  • What is the extent of Nokia's control of Symbian and is a Symbian IPO likely?
  • Who are the other OS contenders and what are their prospects?
  • Will Nokia deploy Series 60 onto its feature phones, in addition to it smartphones?
  • Is there an opportunity for the PC and PDA manufacturers to enter the smartphone space?

Cellular News also has some news from the report here.

I'd love to see their answers to these questions (and the other topics they cover), but I always wonder how writers of their reports get their info. Do they monitor the news over time like I do? Do they actually interview decision makers at these companies (who would most likely tell them little unbiased info). How do you trust the guys writing this report are total bozos under the thumb of one manufacturer or another? I guess these companies live by their reputations on these sorts of things and therefore try to be as unbiased as possible. But still... there's no blog-type checks and balances on this stuff is there? There can't be! The publication of the report is so limited! Only those who pay to play could be able to criticize it, and those guys wouldn't be paying so much if they had a clue...

Maybe I should do a series of blog posts, each post an answer to one of the above questions in detail. And you'd get it for free (though I do accept checks and other monetary payments). And the cool thing about doing it on a weblog is that people who actually know and have a clue could leave comments or otherwise address any assertions made. I wonder how long before these marketing companies are forced to go that route as well?

I mean, really, a static PDF report in the age of blogging? Come on.


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